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Then and Now photos: The ONB building

1911 edifice was tourist attraction

The Old National Bank was founded in 1891 and opened its signature building at Stevens and Riverside in 1911. It was a skyscraping marvel, and thousands came just to see the soaring lobby lined with granite columns or to ride one of five elevators up 14 floors. D.H. Burnham and Co. of Chicago designed the building, which cost $1.3 million, in the Chicago School style. It used steel-frame construction in the wake of the 1889 Spokane fire. The bank weathered Spokane’s ups and downs and survived a 1933 bank run, as most did, by closing for a “bank holiday” and limiting withdrawals under the state Bank Stabilization Act. The bank merged with Peoples National Bank of Seattle to form US Bank of Washington in 1988, claiming $4 billion in assets and 140 branches, including the Riverside branch. – Jesse Tinsley


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